Source: Philippine Information Agency     By Ninfa Iluminda B. Quirante
The use of coco coir in projects of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) not only has helped in flood control, it has also given livelihood to Eastern Visayans.

This is according to Trade and Industry Samar Chief Meilo Macabare.
Macabare and her staff conducted a market matching meeting for decorticating plants and contractors from the DPWH at DTI 8, Palo, Leyte, recently.

Coco coir, a strong fiber extracted from discarded coconut husks, is now used as basic material in making nets, rolls, and mats as protective covers for soils and slopes.

Macabare revealed that coco coir is preferred over concrete bricks and peat moss because it is cheaper, renewable, and completely organic. It is also an excellent growing medium for landscape plants and grasses since the fiber has natural rooting hormones and good water-holding capacity.

The opportunity is given to existing decorticating plants by matching these with contractors of these projects.

The Lope de Vega farmers association before, was unable to meet the demand of their client from Bicol but through the production of the Solsogon Farmers Association (Solofa) added to theirs, they can now supply the required order.

There are six decorticating plants owners and representatives present during the meeting, the coco bind of Catarman, Northern Samar; AFFIRE of Leyte, Hernani Integrated Coconut Processing Plant, and Agri-business livelihood Center of Eastern Samar; PEARBA and Co. San Francisco of Southern Leyte; Alternative Coco Enterprise of Mercedes, Eastern Samar.

DTI said that there is really a need to invite the winning contractors to know the decorticating plants in the region.

DPWH regional office is presently implementing 10 projects which may need coco coir, one of this is the road opening improvement Calbayog City diversion road, in Samar.

In 2012, DPWH reported 27 projects throughout the region with coconet applications with a total of 153,800 square meters and a budget of P20,549,118 which are implemented by their respective engineering districts.

DTI fully supports the national movement to promote the coconut industry and its by-product as a vehicle to provide countryside development and employment generation.

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